Oxidized zirconium (OxZr) is produced by thermally driven oxidization creating an oxidized surface with the properties of a ceramic at the top of the Zr metal substrate. OxZr is much harder and has a lower coefficient of friction than cobalt-chrome (CoCr), both leading to better wear characteristics. We evaluated and compared damage to the cartilage of porcine patella plugs, articulating against OxZr vs CoCr. Our hypothesis was that, owing to its better wear properties, OxZr would damage cartilage less than CoCr. If this is true, OxZr might be a better material for the femoral component during total knee arthroplasty if the patella is not resurfaced.